Publication October 11, 2022-by Berkley Romance Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Fiction
The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab
The Belle of Belgrave Square, book 2 in The Belles of London series, is a treat for fans of Historical Romance with a splash of fairy tale elements. Reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast, watch for good vs. evil, problems to be solved, supernatural beings, and the element of three. Don’t forget the moral and happy ending!
Main character, Captain Jasper Blunt, a battle-scarred soldier from the Crimean War, is considered a war hero, but is he good or evil? Mimi weaves in just enough of his hidden past to keep readers guessing. The beautiful Julia Wychwood, critically impaired by anxiety and her wealthy, invalid parents is imprisoned at Belgrave Square. Deprived of pets, except for her beloved horse, Cossack, Julia gains confidence through riding. Her anxiety is relieved by reading, stashing a novel into her reticule and escaping into libraries when attending parties. Readers will admire this Victorian girl’s resourceful spunk!
Problems are twofold. Captain Blunt needs a wealthy wife’s dowry to restore his dilapidated estate in Yorkshire, and Julia is desperate to escape the evil Dr. Cordingley, whose bloodletting is slowly killing her. Mimi Matthews’ tale is filled with the harrowing details of Julia’s daily life and the heartwarming descriptions of Captain Blunt’s eventful life with children and limited, aging staff at Goldfinch Hall.
Captain Blunt’s children fulfill the element of three and his allegedly haunted Goldfinch Hall, the supernatural. Like the thick, luscious plaits in Julia’s hair, Mimi has braided the Captain’s secrets into the plot and readers will be as anxious as Julia while searching for reasons to believe in him. Seeking lessons learned and hoping for a happy ending make The Belle of Belgrave Square as fulfilling as a favorite fairy tale.
USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Victorian romances. Her novels have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus, and her articles have been featured on the Victorian Web, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and in syndication at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes a retired Andalusian dressage horse, a Sheltie, and two Siamese cats.